I did a lot of research before we left on what I should/shouldn't bring. So here are my thoughts on packing for a trip...
- I packed everything in my college backpack (above), brought a tote, and a purse. Would definitely do that again. We borrowed a North Face travel pack from a friend and that worked out well for him.
- Didn't bring a hair dryer... good decision. Some of the hotels we stayed in had one and when they didn't, I put some of this in my hair.
- Brought a very small travel sized brush which I was happy about. When you're gone for 2.5 weeks and only have a backpack, size matters.
- Clothing: I read a few places where no one wears shorts in Europe... not true. I only packed one pair but wished I had had another. I'm definitely the one to pack at the very last minute, but a few days before I laid clothes out that would go with each other. We were able to do a couple loads of laundry, so I knew we could get away with wearing the same thing often (oh, bring stuff you like wearing because you'll see it a lot). I also packed a jacket and I'm glad I did.
- I stopped at J. Crew the day we left ("hi, how are you?" "great! I'm going to Germany this afternoon!!") and bought something like this for license + debit card + insurance cards. Left my bulky wallet at home.
- After our 5 days w/o luggage in Japan, both Andrew and I packed a few things in our carry-ons. Do this!
- We borrowed adapters. You need these.
- I brought a pair of Toms, Chacos, flip flops, and nicer flats. I definitely didn't buy any new shoes before we left because I knew we'd walk everywhere and did not want blisters.
- I went to Sephora before we left and got a rollerball of new perfume. Now when I smell it, it reminds me of walking the streets of Prague, bike riding through Bavaria, and eating salami + cheese for breakfast in Austria.
- For our luggage tags, I printed our names & addresses on one sheet then on a different sheet, I printed our last name to put on top so that's all someone could see when our luggage came rolling around.
- I wished I had brought the devotional I'm going through (it's really good) but I did bring a very small travel Bible.
- Everything we packed was intentional and simple. We brought a bag like this for clothes we needed to wash.
- Also, I tried to carry our passports with us at all times unless they were in a secure location. Andrew put his wallet in his front pocket and I had my purse in front of me the whole time (in big cities). I even had my hand on the zipper when we were walking through a big crowd... I read so many stories about theft.
- In the end, less is more. Rick Steves really made me believe this in my research and it's true. However, one of the things we forgot was motion sickness relief pills for Andrew. Let's just say that after going down curvy roads in Italy.... yeah.
That's all for now!